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Partners Present Details of £29M Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project in UK; 15 Separate Workstreams from Battery Cells to Aerodynamics

More details of the £29-million (US$44.7-million) Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project (LCVTP) Based in the UK’s West Midlands were revealed at a launch event held at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire. The LCVTP involves seven industry and research partners: Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors, Zytek, Ricardo, MIRA, WMG (formerly Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick and Coventry University.

The Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project comprises 15 separate technical R&D workstreams, each of which is led by a partner who will work closely with selected SMEs. Like-minded suppliers are also invited to apply to work with them in close collaboration. The workstreams include:

  • Battery Cells & Packs
  • Drive Motors
  • Power Electronics
  • High Voltage Electrical Distribution
  • Auxiliary Power Units
  • Vehicle Supervisory Control
  • Lightweight Structures
  • Vehicle Dynamics & Traction Control
  • High Efficiency HVAC and System Cooling
  • Reduction of Parasitic Losses
  • Waste Energy & Energy Storage
  • Aerodynamic Performance
  • Human Machine Interface (HMI) Engineering
  • Large Sedan Vehicle
  • Optimized Electric Vehicle Package

The goal of the LCVTP is to accelerate the introduction of low carbon vehicles by 4 years. First prototypes of systems are to be ready by 2012, with full manufacture of vehicles featuring low carbon technologies by 2013/14.

Our first generation electric vehicle, the Indica Vista, will be on Britain’s roads later this year, but this is just the start. We are already planning next generation Electric Vehicles and the LCVTP programme is integral to our plans. Our intention is to provide radical innovations in system technologies, which we will deploy across deducted Electric Vehicle programs.

—Dr Clive Hickman from Tata (Battery & Battery Packs and High Voltage Electrical Distribution Lead Partner)

The LCVTP has been made possible through a £19 million (US$29.3 million) investment (£9.5 million funding from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and £9.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund Programme (ERDF)) and a further £10 million (US$15.4 million) contribution from the industry partners involved.

There’s no one technology that will deliver a low carbon future. It requires a fundamental reassessment of how we approach vehicle engineering; from advanced battery and motor technology for efficient propulsion, light weight materials and aerodynamics to minimize lost energy, through to intelligent control systems for efficient operation in urban environments.

...What’s more, the low carbon agenda has for the first time in decades changed the rules of engagement in the auto industry. The need for completely new components, sourced from new partners and assembled into new modules is forging new alliances. If we are adept in this time of change, this region will emerge stronger than ever as the primary source of low carbon technology for the global marketplace.

—Dr Geoff Davis, MIRA’s Business Development Director

The LCVTP brings Advantage West Midlands’ investment in low carbon vehicle initiatives £41.2 million (US$64 million). The Agency has already invested more than £22 million in a range of low carbon vehicle projects, including: a pioneering intelligent transport systems test facility (innovITS ADVANCE) and the national ultra low carbon vehicle trial (known in the West Midlands as CABLED).



Accellerate the introduction of low carbon electric vehicles by four (4) years with less than $30M will be an outstanding accomplishment.

Wish them well and hope they succeed.


Why is this called a 'Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project' when it is focussed purely on electric vehicles? Electricity comes from coal fired stations just as much as oil coming out of the ground.

Does this mean that we cal call cars powered by bio-fuels low carbon too? It does seem a bit unfair - it should be open to both really.


Scott, have you taken the time to read the literature on electric cars? A range of studies have shown that vehicles running on UK electricity will have up to 60% lower emissions than a comparable internal-combustion engine vehicle. Yes, that's 60% with the existing grid, which as you point out contains a significant coal element. But it's obviously not all coal, with important contributions from natural gas, nuclear energy and now renewables. So "low carbon" it is (nobody says its ZERO carbon). As the share of the latter grows in time (as planned by the government), EVs will be even cleaner. As for biofuels, well first they don't need as much government support and secondly the UK doesn't have the capacity to produce biofuels sustainably. I don't really know why I have to remind you of this.

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